‘Herpathon’ Citizen-Science Volunteer Event – June 3 at Port Huron State Game Area

Spotted salamander
The spotted salamander – found in mature, moist woodlands around Michigan – is one of the species citizen scientists might spot and report to the Herp Atlas Project to help inventory the state’s amphibians and reptiles.
Michigan DNR
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Lansing, MI -(AmmoLand.com)- The Michigan Department of Natural Resources invites interested volunteers to join in the Herp Atlas Project’s second Herpathon, taking place June 3 at Port Huron State Game Area in St. Clair County.

The Herpathon – a volunteer event to identify and collect information on amphibian and reptile diversity and distribution within Michigan’s unique landscapes – begins at 10 a.m. There also will be live reptiles and amphibians on display, courtesy of Nature Discovery.

Preregistration for the Herpathon is required. For more information and to register, volunteers should contact Lori Sargent at [email protected] or 517-284-6216.

Herp Atlas Project

Information collected at the Herpathon will be submitted to the Michigan Herp Atlas Project, the first statewide inventory of reptiles and amphibians ever conducted in Michigan. The project’s purpose is to document the distribution of Michigan’s reptiles and amphibians, collectively known as herpetofauna or “herps.”

“We need volunteers to help collect information about the reptiles and amphibians they see,” said Herp Atlas Project coordinator Lori Sargent. “We need information on all species, no matter how common or rare they are.”

Although local surveys have been performed in several areas, the Herp Atlas is one of just a few to be conducted over multiple years. Observations of all herp species will continue to be collected, and data collected will be mapped to evaluate species’ distribution over the entire state.

“With continued effort, we can document changes in herp populations,” added Sargent. “The Atlas will also serve as a baseline for looking at distribution changes.”

Anyone can help by reporting sightings of turtles, frogs, toads, snakes, salamanders and lizards online at www.miherpatlas.org. There is also a mobile app available for download from the website to make field reporting quick and easy. The Mobile Mapper is available for Android and iOS (Apple) devices. The Herp Atlas Project is managed by Herpetological Resource and Management.

Information about the atlas and data submission instructions can be found on the atlas website or by sending an e-mail to [email protected]. Citizen scientists also can call 517-284-6216 or send written requests for information to DNR Wildlife Division, Herp Atlas, P.O. Box 30444, Lansing, MI 48909.

Observations must be verified by a knowledgeable source or by submission of a photo, audio recording or body part accompanied by the data card. Animals should NOT be killed for the purpose of identification.

About the Michigan Department of Natural Resources:

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations.

For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.